in support of the workers and unions of Wisconsin
26 Feb 11
Very interesting commentary on our local paper and this action from a
buddy of mine:
While it is heartening to see Dick
Polman's attention to the labor
movement in Wisconsin (American
), it was disconcerting that the gathering of over a
thousand people in Love Park this Saturday, 2/26, only blocks away from
the Inquirer clock-tower, got no coverage whatsoever. With participants
from Bethlehem, Allentown, Camden, Princeton and elsewhere -- to join
concerned Philadelphians and suburbanites in support of labor's right
to negotiate -- one would think that the story merited a mention in
Local News, if not a prominent place alongside the Front Section
Wisconsin coverage. Perhaps a description of cars honking at 15th and
Arch to support demonstrators singing to the traffic might have been
appropriate. Perhaps some notes on Rabbi Waskow's Sabbath sermon, or
the labor anecdotes of leaders and rank-and-file membership, would have
added local color to a national issue of critical import. Three network
news teams recorded small spots for their evening and nightly news.
Somehow, a smaller Tea-Party gathering got prominent coverage on the
Inquirer front page. Polman wonders why labor is on the ropes. Perhaps
labor could catch a break from its local paper of record.
Of course, the protesters who are supporting the workers and unions of
Wisconsin had to compete with the very,
very, terribly important second anniversary of that astro-turf,
billionaire-funded group, the Tea Party. Which, well, y'know makes
sense, because what's a real
demonstration concerning real
issues of concern to real
people compared to one that features TeeVee coverage from Fox News,
where very loud people dress up in tri-corner hats and which puts out
formal press releases?
BTW, temperatures dropped on the night of this protest, but attendance
in Madison, WI was up
to about 100,000 people.
So remember back in October of last year when the British decided to
take a hack, slash and burn approach to their budget? David Broder
noticed at the time and he thought their idea was wonderful.
He hailed it as a deliberate
move away from Keynesian economics.
How's that move workin' out for y'all? Er,
well at all, actually. As the economist Dean Baker
explained early this month “As predicted, this looks very much like
a path to pain and stagnation, not healthy growth.” So why American
to repeat the British approach isn't clear at all.
BTW, MoveOn advised its members that red and white were Wisconsin
colors, which is why red is so dominant in these pictures. Very
interesting view from
the other side of the aisle is that public-employee unions reduced
the expected GOP gain in statehouses for the 2010 election from 20 down
to 12. Naturally, Republicans were unhappy about this.
"We are never going to win most of these
states until we can do something about those unions," one key operative
said at a Washington dinner in November. "They have so much incentive
to work hard politically because they are, in effect, electing their
own bosses -- the Democrats who are going to pay them better and give
them more benefits. And the Democrats have the incentive to be
This is how top Republicans see the
matter: a vicious cycle of union-to-Democrat-to-union power that they
are determined to break.
happens if Republicans break the union-Democratic party alliance?
The Kochs are longtime libertarians who
believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal
social services for the needy, and much less oversight of
industry—especially environmental regulation.